Tag Archives: skiing

Loving Winter in Wausau: How To

We’ve been doing Winter in Wausau since 1949. So yes, we’re experts. If you need help with the ins and outs of negotiating slippery sidewalks, the fine art of dressing in layers, a recommendation for where to go snowshoeing, fat-tire bike riding, or simply where to find the the best cozy fire in town or the tastiest warm drink. Don’t hesitate to ask!

Have you decided to step it up a notch and learn to love the snow and cold? Then Shep’s is the place for advice, clothes and gear. Check out some of our recommendations below, and visit us at 324 Scott Street, across from the 400 Block in Downtown Wausau, for personalized service and great winter gear. We love winter and we know you can too!

Discover Wisconsin thinks Winter in Wausau is the Best!
There’s a right way and a wrong way to layer.

Dressing in Winter 101

You know that chill you get, the one that hangs on even when you’ve gone inside? We know why that happens and how to fix it! Let’s talk about the differences various fabrics make, and how to make them work together to keep you cozy, warm and dry.

Step 1: Wet is not warm. So the key in winter weather is to stay dry. NO COTTON! That means no denim. Leave those great jeans in the closet when you venture outside. Cotton holds moisture, liquid and vapor. Have you ever rolled a sock off your foot, ending up with a damp, icky sock donut? You don’t want that in winter. Repeat: No Cotton.

Step 2: Base Layer. Also known as long underwear. It needs to wick moisture and provide insulation, appropriate to your activity. For example, if you’re cross country skiing you can expect to sweat (there’s that moisture problem again!) A light-weight, stretch polyester or bamboo fabric that moves moisture quickly is a great way to go. Ice fishing? That requires a highly insulating fiber of course. Merino wool is our favorite because it insulates while it’s moving moisture. In fact, it’s a miracle fiber in our opinion. Read more from the experts at Smartwool here.

Step 3: Mid Layer. Wicking and insulation continue in the mid layer. Ideally, the fabric you choose here will work with your base layer. Wool, polyester fleece, natural down are all great choices for different reasons. You can look in your closet for a puffy down jacket, a fleece hoody or something in between. They are all mid-layers if they are not built to keep out wind and water. This is where our great brands have come up with some awesome advancements in recent years. We can show you when you visit us!

Step 4: Outer Layer. Your winter jacket. We finally got to it! Here you have a multitude of choices, obviously. A winter jacket is the garment that must help you withstand the cold, wind, and snow or rain. Most contain heat-trapping insulation so your body stays warm even when not in motion. It must also have a waterproof/ breathable membrane to really protect you.

It could be a “Hard Shell” jacket, which is not insulated at all. Think rain jacket. Most of us in Wisconsin use these in mild temperatures – 30s-50s. Our staff prefers an insulated jacket, even when we are employing the layering philosophy described here, when it’s below freezing.

So come see us. Let’s talk about winter dressing, and all the great places to enjoy the outdoors in Central Wisconsin.

Free Ski Demos for Skiers 65+ on Tuesdays!

We believe that skiing starts when you learn to walk and never has to end. We hate to hear that when someone reaches their 50th, 60th, or 70th birthday, they buckle their boots, hang up their skis, and call it quits.

We can all get inspired by Klaus Obermeyer, who started the well known and highly respected apparel company that took his last name. Klaus, now 95, skis every day of the season, just as he’s done since he was young. His slogan? “The days you don’t ski,
you don’t get back.”

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So what about you? Have you been told you had to turn in your pass, or are you still going strong? We’re offering our ski veterans (those 65 and over) FREE performance ski demos on Tuesdays through the season. You have no excuse!

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The fine print: Free Rentals on Performance Ski Demos only ($35 value). Setup includes performance skis & bindings. Boots not included, but can be rented for $10. Free Demo Program valid on Tuesdays only; pick up skis Monday from 7-8 pm or Tuesday anytime, and return skis Tuesday evening or Wednesday by 10am. Reservations are not available on Free Demo skis, and quantity is limited. Paying customers’ requests are filled first. Shep’s reserves the right to modify the program at any time.




Not on the water yet? You should be!

As the lakes and rivers in our area continue to warm up with the great summer weather we’ve been having, you might find yourself dusting off your summer watersports gear for another fun season.  Today, I thought I’d share a few quick tips for prepping your equipment to ensure a great, hassle-free summer on the water.  Also, since we have so much amazing new gear here in our store, I figured I would give you all the details should you find yourself with skis or tubes or ropes that have seen one too many summers.

Before using waterskis, wakeboards, ropes, tubes, or any other watersport equipment, it’s important to clean and inspect them.  Bindings and boots should be checked to make sure the screws and bolts holding them to the ski or board are fastened securely, and the boards themselves should have no damage or cracks.  When checking the boots, also make sure the rubber, velcro, and lacing systems are in proper working order.  As boots age, they become more susceptible to rips and tears.  And remember: what was in good working order when you stored them the pervious season might not always fare well through the dry winter storage months, so taking the few minutes to double check your equipment always a safe bet.  Lastly, ropes, when either at the end of their life, or not stored properly, can become brittle and break under the high loads placed on them when towing skiers, boarders, or tubes.  A visual inspection of your rope is usually enough to reveal any fraying or dry rot that could result in a quick end to a day on the boat.

Hopefully your watersports gear is still in great working order and you can get out on the water soon!  If it has seen better days though, or it’s time for an upgrade, Shep’s is the place to come.  We stock a full range of waterskis, wakeboards, wakeskates, wakesurfs, tubes, and kneeboards from HO Sports and Hyperlite, as well as all the accessories you could ever need (from life jackets to ropes to repair parts).  And thanks to our great HO / Hyperlite rep Rick Skinner, our already experienced, highly-trained staff just received a special two hour training covering all the new gear and latest technologies on all things watersports.  Can we help with any questions you might have?  You bet we can!

Wake board packages from Hyperlite starting as low as $299.00!

Ski combos from HO priced to move at $179.99!

With sizes in stock able to fit infants to the Incredible Hulk (almost), we’ve got the life jacket you need to look cool and stay safe.  Prices start at $39.99.  

With specific ropes for waterskiing, wakeboarding, and tubing in stock, and prices as low as $15.99, it’s time to stop using that same old rope for everything.  You’ll get better performance and be safer in the process!

Need a tube?  We’ve got ’em!  From our $79.99 HO Sports Hornet to the four person Extreme XL, we’ve got loads of great choices to fit your budget and family size!

One last thing: now that you have that great new gear, you need to care for it.  Our post from earlier this year will tell you everything you need to know!